Friday, July 24, 2009

Finally Finished

I've mentioned before that Aaron and I are the masters of beginning projects. What we haven't quite mastered is completion. It's embarrassing how long I've worked on this most recent project. And I've finally finished it. The planets had to align before it could be accomplished, but they finally did.

I've been wanting something to fill up the huge empty wall alongside our staircase. I also wanted to bring a bit of color in to brighten up the stairwell since it can get quite gloomy. So I decided to take a cue from my kitchen and create a series of fabric wall hangings.

I found a great brown and aqua striped fabric which would be perfect for tying in the dark brown of our home theater with the blue we have downstairs. The tan in the fabric also coordinated perfectly with our walls. So in FEBRUARY I purchased the fabric. Aaron built me 3 large rectangular frames out of 2x2s and I sanded them down. I used my handy dandy staple gun (most useful tool ever) to attach the fabric to two of the frames...and then I realized I had mismeasured. I didn't buy enough fabric and I was TWO INCHES short. So the project was put on hold.

Eventually I made it back to Hancock Fabric, praying that they hadn't stopped carrying this particular fabric. They hadn't (but I didn't see it there today, so they might have by now), and I was able to pick up some more. Then I needed to iron the fabric to prepare it for the frames. However, the only opportunities I had to work on the frames were when Averi was in bed asleep. Averi sleeps in our closet, which is also where I keep the ironing board and iron. And, of course, I never remembered to leave it out before I put her to bed. Meanwhile, the half-finished art is sitting in the closet where we keep our DVDs, taking up way too much space. So Aaron finally took out the iron and ironing board, set it up in the middle of the bedroom, and told me that it was not to be put away until the frames were finished.

Nothing like an ultimatum and a potential hazard to my health (the ironing board was directly in the path of the bathroom, so every night it remained there I ran the risk of breaking a toe or a neck) to give me the incentive to get working. So one night I finally had a chunk of time where I was unfettered by children or other projects. I ironed the fabric, got everything set up, and went to get the staple gun. Nowhere to be found. I spent at least half an hour searching for it to no avail. By that time dinner had to be made, so the project was abandoned for that day.

After a few days of hunting, I eventually found the staple gun in the bottom of the gardening bag. I have no idea how it got there. So two days ago I re-ironed the fabric, got it fastened to the frame, fixed some flaws with the other hangings, and got them hung. Yay!!!! It looks so good to have something there. Unfortunately, it's a really hard area to get decent pictures of, so you'll just have to come and see for yourself.

My favorite part about these hangings is that when I'm ready for a change, it's as simple as swapping out the fabric. Really, this project should only take a few hours (building the frame, ironing the fabric, stapling, hanging) from start to finish. It's extremely easy to do, and a very low-cost way to add some color and impact.

(Please ignore all the folded laundry!)

The final result!

This picture gives you some idea of the HUGE space I was working with.

I do have one word of advice for anyone attempting to do this: don't use stripes. It's extremely difficult to keep them from warping when you stretch the fabric across the canvas. You have to pull the fabric tight to keep it from wrinkling, but then the stripes bend, as you can see along the edges. It's not really noticeable at all on other large prints, so stick with those.


Laura said...

It looks awesome! I've seen something similar on HGTV before and I've been wanting to do something similar. Now if I can just get a house that has walls big enough. :)

Stef and Bry said...

You are so talented! How do you come up with such creative ideas? I guess I need you to come and tell me what to do in my house.